Stable prices bringing NRIs back to real estate market: HDFC

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New Delhi, May 24: Stability in housing prices and favourable rupee movements are bringing back the NRIs in a big way to the real estate market, mortgage giant HDFC has said.

To tap their interest, HDFC as also a number of property developers are undertaking special marketing campaigns including by way of organising property fairs in places with high NRI population such as the US and the UK.

Under-construction building

Interestingly, the non-resident Indians living abroad are showing a renewed interest in the Indian housing market at a time when the local demand is relatively sluggish.

"We are seeing a lot of interest from the NRI community. The rupee depreciation against the US dollar is also helping, for the prospective home buyers from the American continent," HDFC Ltd Managing Director Renu Sud Karnad told PTI.

HDFC, the country's largest mortgage lender, has planned 'India Homes Fair' exhibition in London on May 30-31, which will have more than 100 projects on display from across India.

Karnad said that housing prices have stabilised, while softening of interest rates have helped make the home purchase much more affordable.

Property consultancy major CBRE's South Asia Head (Residential Services) A S Sivaramakrishnan said that NRIs have become extremely important for the Indian real estate market and they contribute 8-10 per cent of the total housing sales volume across India.

Stating that the contribution of NRIs in housing sales varies from city to city, he said the NRIs account for 30-35 per cent of apartments sales in Kerala.

Their contribution in Hyderabad and Delhi-NCR markets are 10-12 per cent, Sivaramakrishnan added. Cushman & Wakefield' Executive Director (Residential Services) Shveta Jain also said that investments in the real estate sector by NRIs have gained momentum over time with prices being stable or reaching bottom in select cities and markets, rupee devaluations and attractive long term returns.

"With city limits expanding to peripheries, investors have a variety of products ranging from affordable to luxury developments and special housing projects like senior homes to choose from.

"Given the tepid demand from resident buyers and investors, developers have also undertaken special marketing efforts to target NRIs, whose investor confidence in Indian real estate market will get a further boost with the introduction of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill," Jain added.

Karnad said that the projects on display during its London fair are from Bengaluru, Chennai, Gujarat, Goa, Hyderabad, Kerala, Mumbai, NCR, Pune, Punjab and Kolkata, among others.

The options include flats, villas and plots and customers would be given exclusive offers and value-added benefits. HDFC would be holding such exhibitions for the eighth year in a row at a foreign location, showing its popularity amongst the NRI and PIO (Person of Indian Origin) community in London and other cities abroad.

PTI

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